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Protecting Malaysian Turtles, One Step At A Time

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PORT DICKSON, Oct 5 — From July to November every year, Hishamudin Abd Manap dutifully walks for three kilometers along the coast and navigates hill slopes for almost 30 minutes daily to collect turtle eggs. He could not be prouder in playing his part in conservation efforts for the endangered marine animals.

Hishamudin, 49, affectionately called Along, who works as a part-time supervisor at a turtle conservation and hatchery center at a resort here, said that he gives his best in carrying out his job, being fully aware of the responsibility of caring for the animals that often get the attention of many people.

“I have been handling turtles for almost 10 years now due to my deep interest in marine life. I am fully aware that if its population is not protected, it may face extinction,” he told Bernama, here, today.

Recounting one of the most challenging things in performing his job, Along said that it is important to ensure that the position and arrangement of turtle eggs to be placed in the turtle hatchery is the same as when collected in the nest.

He said that to avoid confusion, each egg will be marked with its original position using a pencil, and be collected carefully.

“Turtle eggs are sensitive – when the mother lays eggs and they fall into the sand, the baby turtle’s head automatically points towards the surface. That is why it is important that the position is not changed accidentally.

“The turtles will land on the beach up to four times in any one season. The first time they will lay about 150 eggs, then they will go down to the sea and back to the beach again 10 days later to lay eggs, the number of eggs will be slightly reduced, and so on,” he said.

The father of eight said that the egg collection season is from July to November and he will usually supervise between seven and eight nests, while egg collection will be done between 1 am and 3 am as at that time the turtles will lay their eggs.

He said that those who perform this activity must obtain a license to carry out landing, monitoring, and collecting turtle eggs in advance from the Fisheries Department.

“In Negeri Sembilan, only a friend and I have a license to carry out this job. Members of the public are not allowed to collect the eggs at will, as I have had to undergo a landing, monitoring and turtle hatchery management course for that purpose,” he said.

The Negeri Sembilan native said the eggs would be moved to the resort, which runs turtle conservation and hatchery, in collaboration with the Negeri Sembilan Fisheries Department (JPNS), to incubate.

“At the center, we look after the eggs while they incubate, and once they hatch we will put them in a pond. This is part of our efforts to increase the number of turtles on the coast of this state, especially Tanjung Gemuk beach, Port Dickson as they will be released to the ocean when they are slightly bigger in size, at two or three months old,” he said.

Meanwhile, JPNS director Halimi Abu Hanip said that during this year, a total of 170 hawksbill sea turtles have been released in the coastal waters of Negeri Sembilan.

“There are two species of turtles in this state. Apart from the hawksbill, we also have green turtles, with their popular landing locations being in Tanjung Tuan, Port Dickson, and several other locations,” he said.

He urged the public not to disturb the endangered marine animals and not to take their eggs as turtles are protected under the Negeri Sembilan (Turtles and Turtle Eggs) Rules 1976 and the Fisheries Act 1985.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)’s Sea Turtle Research Unit head Dr. Mohd Uzair Rusli said that it was important to save the species to preserve the balance of the ocean’s ecosystem, especially for the country’s fisheries sector.

He said there are four species of turtles in the country, namely, leatherback, hawksbill, green and olive ridley, and each species has a different role that is important to the ecology of the ocean.

“For example, leatherback turtles serve to control the jellyfish population. The absence of the turtle causes the jellyfish population to increase sharply and this causes a reduction in fish stocks, as the jellyfish will eat the fish eggs and affect the fish supply.

“Meanwhile, the green turtle is important to maintain the health of the fish conservation area, which is seaweed which serves as a place for the young fish to take refuge,” he said.

Hawksbill turtles, on the other hand, serve to eat the crown of thorns starfish that are commonly found in coral reef ecosystems, he explained.

“The absence of hawksbill turtles allows the crown of thorns starfish to breed more aggressively and dominate the coral reef ecosystem which affects the provision of food for fish,” he said.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Hybrid Sitting of Parliament Expected At End of August Or Early September

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 25  — A hybrid sitting of the Parliament can be expected at the end of August or in the first week of September at the latest.

Senate president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun in a joint statement today, however, said that proper preparations in the aspects of legislative, administrative, technical and procurement of supply need to be done first to ensure smooth running of the hybrid sitting.

They said if all the legislative aspects could be resolved by end of July and approved by the relevant committees, a Special Parliament session will be convened in early August prior to the sitting.

“The Special Parliament session is important to ensure that all Members of Parliament (MPs) will be involved in detailing the resolutions to be adopted relating to the proposal to hold the hybrid sitting of Parliament, which include several amendments to the Standing Orders, definitions of virtual sitting, standardizing of MPs’ responsibilities and other technical matters.

“If the proposal is accepted by both Houses (Senate and Dewan Rakyat), only a short time will be needed for the Parliament to complete the procurement of supply, integrate the hybrid sitting system with the existing ones, conduct a trial run, accredit and provide the necessary training for the staff involved and also the MPs,” they said.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Delta Variant: Masing Wants Sarawak Border Security Beefed Up

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KUCHING, June 25 — Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has directed for the Malaysia-Indonesia border security patrol to be beefed up to curb the influx of illegal immigrants into Sarawak following the spike in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.

He said the Armed Forces as well as border enforcement agencies like the General Operation Force (GOF) and the Immigration Department need to intensify their surveillance on the illegal trails or locally know as “jalan tikus” (rat trails) along the international boundary.

“This must be prevented at all costs. That is why we must secure the hundreds of ‘jalan tikus’ (along the Malaysia-Indonesia border). I have asked the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), GOF and Immigration Department to be on alert,” he said in a statement issued today.

As the minister in charge of security in Sarawak, Masing said he was concerned over a NikkeiASIA’s portal report last week which said that Java had been imposing regional lockdowns after 12,624 new cases of COVID-19 were detected with 107 of them being of the Delta variant from India, which is considered highly infectious.

He said that some of the foreigners who encroached into Sarawak via the Malaysia-Indonesia border could be coming from Java or neighbouring Indonesian islands carrying this deadly variant, where they had to be stopped before crossing the border.

Masing admitted that the task of monitoring the border would not be easy considering the length of the border line that had to be covered by the enforcement personnel but he was satisfied that so far they had fulfilled their responsibilities judging by the numbers of illegal immigrant that they had caught in the last few months.

He said the Sarawak Government had also equipped these personnel with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), scrambler motorcycles, drones and telecommunication equipment, among others, to facilitate their tasks of guarding the border.

“What worries me is that according to the MAF, GOF and Immigration Department, the illegal immigrants, who came through hundreds of jalan tikus, keep coming back within days after being deported,” he said, as he repeated his previous suggestion for fences to be built at strategic places along the Malaysia-Indonesia border to curb such intrusion.

Sources: BERNAMA

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(Video) Olympic Games Is In Tokyo For 2021, These Are 5 New Sports Added Into It

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At the first-ever Olympic Games in the year 1896, there were actually just nine sports contested. Since that particular time, many sports have been added and also removed a well from the program. This latest Olympic Games would be the one in Tokyo. Originally scheduled to take place from the 24th of July to the 9th of August 2020, the event was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the first time that the Olympic Games have been postponed and rescheduled, rather than canceled. This recent year of the Olympic Games will see the introduction of brand new competitions. Under new IOC policies, which allow the host organizing committee to add new sports to the Olympic program to augment the permanent core events, these Games will see new games as well as the return of some old games for the first time since 2008.

1) Surfing

The best surfers in the world will celebrate the Olympic debut of their sport on the spectacular Pacific coast of Japan. The state of the waves, the direction and strength of the wind, and the flow of the tide make surfing an event in which athletes compete against each other while facing the changing conditions of nature.

2) Skateboarding

The Organising Committee incorporated a sport as young and vibrant as skateboarding into the Olympic program. There will be two categories and that is street which will take place on a straight route that imitates a street with stairs, handrails, kerbs, slopes, and others, and also park which will take place on a surface with slopes and complicated curves.

3) Sport climbing

Finger strength will decide which athletes will wear the medal around their neck in this new sport. Taking place on the colorful and characteristic dams, the climbers will put their skill and strength into practice on a vertical wall. There will be three disciplines and that are speed, boulder or block climbing, and also lead or difficulty.

4) Karate

Karate originated in Okinawa (Japan) during the Ryukyu Dynasty and has since spread throughout the world. For this reason, this sport could not be missing in Tokyo. Its struggle to be part of the program dates back to the 1970s and its debut will be on the best possible stage that is the Nippon Budokan which is the spiritual home of Japanese martial arts.

5) Baseball

Baseball and softball are returning to the Games. Their last appearance was in Beijing 2008. So, spectators will once again enjoy watching the pitcher challenge the batter with fast pitches of up to 100 miles per hour and precision, as well as spectacular effects.

Sources: Iberdrola, YouTube Mint.

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